The story behind video poker promos

Jul 3, 2006 5:27 AM

Oh, the absolute joy of getting something for free, especially if you’re a video poker player. And ESPECIALLY if the giveaway looks like it comes in the form of money! Beginning to get blinded now? Are your hands starting to sweat? Is your heart racing?

Well, if that’s you, you’ve got lots and lots of company. No one gets as many offers, freebies, and special deals as video poker players do.

At first glance, when a player either receives a special offer in the mail or reads about giveaways and multiple point days or card-of-the-day specials all over town, the anxiety level goes sky high.

But promotions must be viewed cautiously, as players must be able to play on their terms and how THEY want, instead of how the casinos expect the player to.

But that’s far easier said than done. Let’s look at a common example. You live in Las Vegas and make your rounds to your favorite two or three local casinos each week. Thus your mailbox is overflowing with free-play coupons, special cash back options, multiple point offers, and LOTS of free food! You’re immediately in heaven!

There’s an urge to rush right out to the machines, but you’re just a little worried about how your significant other might look at that escapade. So you digress, and you just can’t get out of work fast enough tomorrow for a shot at all that free stuff they’re giving away.

You go about your gambling and other daily business thinking you’ve got it all under control. Yet all those offers are constantly on your mind, and that’s precisely what the casino manager and slot club marketing departments had in mind the minute they rolled out the offers. If there’s one thing they truly know, it’s just how weak-kneed almost every video poker player really is.

But wait a minute! You’re one of those feared "advantage players" so there’s no way the promotions have any effect on you other than they serve up the cash, right?

Ha! Now for some more stark truth. A-D-V-A-N-T-A-G-E players are the ones the promos were REALLY meant for. These are the people who’ll do just about anything to get their hands on the cash in order to play at the promotion. After-the-fact consequences mean absolutely nothing to such frenzied players. Nothing.

Promotions by their very nature cajole players to bring in more cash than they originally planned on taking. And those who think they play with an edge will bring in the most.

Unable to admit to it under any circumstances, advantage video poker players are the prime targets of both any machine that has a positive pay table, and every promotion ever given. It is these players who do the most to keep the casinos in the black, day after day after day.

I’ve said this time and time again: Successful video poker players DO NOT ALLOW the casinos to dictate when, where and what they play. People, isn’t it OBVIOUS that if the promotions weren’t such enormous successes for the casinos — if these ”˜specially gifted’ ADVANTAGE PLAYERS were able to suck the promos dry — the casinos would never offer them?

Instead, they keep on coming out in record pace. And the players keep getting roped in until all their money has disappeared. I admit, it IS tough to turn down and/or ignore such seemingly unbelievable deals, but that’s where extreme discipline comes into play. Yes, this type of discipline is not easy to be trained to possess, but if I did it then so can you.

I play on my own schedule without regard to whatever I’ve been offered or promised. I have no idea why or how anyone could do it any other way and expect to be successful at video poker.

Learn how to turn it around on them and you’re on your way to more enjoyable play and more money in your wallets and purses. Either that, or continue to make your deposits, promo after promo after promo.